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Republic of the Philippines In an Information dated February 22, 2005, the petitioners were indicted for attempted

SUPREME COURT murder allegedly committed as follows:


Manila
That on or about the 20th h day of February, 2005, in Quezon City, Philippines, the
SECOND DIVISION said accused, conspiring together, confederating with and mutually helping one
another, with intent to kill, qualified with evident premeditation, treachery and taking
G.R. No. 182601 November 10, 2014 advantage of superior strength, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
commence the commission of the crime of Murder directly by overt acts, by then and
there stabbing one Atty. MORENO GENEROSO y FRANCO, with a bladed weapon,
JOEY M. PESTILOS, DWIGHT MACAPANAS, MIGUEL GACES, JERRY but said accused were not able to perform all the acts of execution which would
FERNANDEZ and RONALD MUNOZ,Petitioners, produce the crime of Murder by reason of some cause/s or accident other than their
vs. own spontaneous desistance, that is, said complainant was able to parry the attack,
MORENO GENEROSO and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. to his damage and prejudice.

DECISION CONTRARY TO LAW. 11

BRION, J.: On March 7, 2005, the petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
Investigation on the ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. They alleged
12

We resolve the petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court that no valid warrantless arrest took place since the police officers had no personal
challenging the decision dated January 21, 2008 and the resolution dated April 17,
1 2 knowledge that they were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed that they
2008 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. SP No. 91541. were just "invited" to the police station. Thus, the inquest proceeding was improper,
and a regular procedure for preliminary investigation should have been performed
The appealed decision affirmed the Order dated March 16, 2005 of the Regional Trial pursuant to Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. 13

Court (RTC), Branch 96, Quezon City, denying Joey M. Pestilos, Dwight Macapanas,
Miguel Gaces, Jerry Fernandez, and Ronald Munoz's (petitioners) Urgent Motion for On March 16, 2005, the RTC issued its order denying the petitioners' Urgent Motion
Regular Preliminary Investigation, as well as their subsequent motion for for Regular Preliminary Investigation. The court likewise denied the petitioners'
14

reconsideration. motion for reconsideration. 15

The Antecedent Facts The petitioners challenged the lower court's ruling before the CA on a Rule 65 petition
for certiorari. They attributed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess
The records of the case reveal that on February 20, 2005, at around 3: 15 in the of jurisdiction, on the R TC for the denial of their motion for preliminary investigation.
16

morning, an altercation ensued between the petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso
(Atty. Generoso) at Kasiyahan Street, Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City where the The Assailed CA Decision
petitioners and Atty. Generoso reside. 3

On January 21, 2008, the CA issued its decision dismissing the petition for lack of
Atty. Generoso called the Central Police District, Station 6 (Batas an Hills Police merit. The CA ruled that the word "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest executed by SP02
17

Station) to report the incident. Acting on this report, Desk Officer SPOl Primitivo
4 Javier carried the meaning of a command. The arresting officer clearly meant to arrest
Monsalve (SPOJ Monsalve) dispatched SP02 Dominador Javier (SP02 Javier) to go the petitioners to answer for the mauling of Atty. Generoso. The CA also recognized
to the scene of the crime and to render assistance. SP02 Javier, together with
5 that the arrest was pursuant to a valid warrantless arrest so that an inquest
augmentation personnel from the Airforce, A2C Alano Sayson and Airman Ruel proceeding was called for as a consequence. Thus, the R TC did not commit any
Galvez, arrived at the scene of the crime less than one hour after the alleged grave abuse of discretion in denying the Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary
altercation and they saw Atty. Generoso badly beaten.
6 7 Investigation.

Atty. Generoso then pointed to the petitioners as those who mauled him. This The CA saw no merit in the petitioners' argument that the order denying the Urgent
prompted the police officers to "invite" the petitioners to go to Batasan Hills Police Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation is void for failure to clearly state the facts
Station for investigation. The petitioners went with the police officers to Batasan Hills
8 and the law upon which it was based, pursuant to Rule 16, Section 3 of the Revised
Police Station. At the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor of Quezon City found
9 Rules of Court. The CA found that the RTC had sufficiently explained the grounds for
that the petitioners stabbed Atty. Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso the denial of the motion.
fortunately survived the attack. 10
The petitioners moved for reconsideration, but the CA denied the motion in its But accepting things as they are, this delay can be more than compensated by fully
Resolution of April 17, 2008; hence, the present petition.
18
examining in this case the legalities surrounding warrantless warrants and
establishing the proper interpretation of the Rules for the guidance of the bench and
The Issues the bar. These Rules have evolved over time, and the present case presents to us the
opportunity to re-trace their origins, development and the current applicable
interpretation.
The petitioners cited the following assignment of errors:
I. Brief history on warrantless arrests
I.
The organic laws of the Philippines, specifically, the Philippine Bill of 1902, and the19

WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE VALIDLY ARRESTED 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions all protect the right of the people to be secure in
20 21 22

WITHOUT A WARRANT. their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures. Arrest falls under the term
"seizure. "23

II.
This constitutional mandate is identical with the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE LAWFULLY ARRESTED of the United States. The Fourth Amendment traces its origins to the writings of Sir
WHEN THEY WERE MERELY INVITED TO THE POLICE PRECINCT. Edward Coke and The Great Charter of the Liberties of England (Magna Carta
24

Libertatum), sealed under oath by King John on the bank of the River Thames near
III. Windsor, England on June 15, 1215. The Magna Carta Libertatum limited the King of
25

England's powers and required the Crown to proclaim certain liberties under the
26

feudal vassals' threat of civil war. The declarations in Chapter 29 of the Magna Carta
27

WHETHER OR NOT THE ORDER DENYING THE MOTION FOR Libertatum later became the foundational component of the Fourth Amendment of the
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS VOID FOR FAILURE TO STATE THE United States Constitution. It provides:
28

FACTS AND THE LAW UPON WHICH IT WAS BASED.


No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or
29

The petitioners primarily argue that they were not lawfully arrested. No arrest warrant Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor
was ever issued; they went to the police station only as a response to the arresting will we not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or
officers' invitation. They even cited the Affidavit of Arrest, which actually used the by the Law of the Land, We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man
word "invited. " either Justice or Right. [Emphasis supplied]
30

The petitioners also claim that no valid warrantless arrest took place under the terms In United States v. Snyder, the United States Supreme Court held that this
31

of Rule 112, Section 7 of the Revised Rules of Court. The incident happened two (2) constitutional provision does not prohibit arrests, searches and seizures without
hours before the police officers actually arrived at the crime scene. The police officers judicial warrant, but only those that are unreasonable. With regard to an arrest, it is
32

could not have undertaken a valid warrantless arrest as they had no personal considered a seizure, which must also satisfy the test of reasonableness. 33

knowledge that the petitioners were the authors of the crime.


In our jurisdiction, early rulings of the Court have acknowledged the validity of
The petitioners additionally argue that the R TC' s Order denying the Urgent Motion warrantless arrests. The Court based these rulings on the common law of America
for Regular Preliminary Investigation is void because it was not properly issued. and England that, according to the Court, were not different from the Spanish
laws. These court rulings likewise justified warrantless arrests based on the
34

The Court's Ruling provisions of separate laws then existing in the Philippines. 35

We find the petition unmeritorious and thus uphold the RTC Order. The criminal In 1905, the Court held in The United States v. Wilson that Section 37 of Act No.
36 37

proceedings against the petitioners should now proceed. 183, or the Charter of Manila, defined the arresting officer's power to arrest without a
warrant, at least insofar as the City of Manila was concerned.
It is unfortunate that the kind of motion that the petitioners filed has to reach this Court
for its resolution. The thought is very tempting that the motion was employed simply to In The United States v. Vallejo, et al., the Court held that in the absence of any
38

delay the proceedings and that the use of Rule 65 petition has been abused. provisions under statutes or local ordinances, a police officer who held similar
functions as those of the officers established under the common law of England and
America, also had the power to arrest without a warrant in the Philippines.
The Court also ruled in The United States v. Santos that the rules on warrantless
39
Prior to 1940, the Court based its rulings not just on American and English common
arrest were based on common sense and reason. It further held that warrantless
40
law principle on warrantless arrests but also on laws then existing in the Philippines.
arrest found support under the then Administrative Code which directed municipal
41
In Fortaleza, the Court cited Rule 28 of the Provisional Law for the Application of the
45

policemen to exercise vigilance in the prevention of public offenses. Penal Code which provided that:

In The United States v. Fortaleza, the Court applied Rules 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the
42 43
Judicial and administrative authorities have power to detain, or to cause to be
Provisional Law for the Application of the Penal Code which were provisions taken detained, persons whom there is reasonable ground to believe guilty of some offense.
from the Spanish Law. It will be the duty of the authorities, as well as of their agents, to arrest:

These rules were subsequently established and incorporated in our Rules of Court First. Such persons as may be arrested under the provisions of rule 27.
and jurisprudence. Presently, the requirements of a warrantless arrest are now
summarized in Rule 113, Section 5 which states that: Section 5. Arrest without Second. A person charged with a crime for which the code provides a penalty greater
warrant; when lawful. - A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, than that of confinamiento.
arrest a person:
Third. A person charged with a crime for which the code provides a penalty less than
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is that of confinamiento, if his antecedents or the circumstances of the case would
actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; warrant the presumption that he would fail to appear when summoned by the judicial
authorities.
(b) When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to
believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply, however, to a defendant
person to be arrested has committed it; and who gives sufficient bond, to the satisfaction of the authority or agent who may arrest
him, and who it may reasonably be presumed will appear whenever summoned by
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a the judge or court competent to try him.
penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is
temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being Fourth. A person coining under the provisions of the preceding paragraph may be
transferred from one confinement to another. arrested, although no formal complaint has been filed against him, provided the
following circumstances are present:
In cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a
warrant shall be forth with delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be First. That the authority or agent had reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful
proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112. act, amounting to a crime had been committed.

A warrantless arrest under the circumstances contemplated under Section 5(a) above Second. That the authority or agent had sufficient reason to believe that the person
has been denominated as one "in flagrante delicto," while that under Section 5(b) has arrested participated in the commission of such unlawful act or crime." [Emphasis and
been described as a "hot pursuit" arrest. 44
underscoring supplied]

For purposes of this case, we shall focus on Section 5(b) – the provision applicable in In the same decision, the Court likewise cited Section 3 7 of the Charter of Manila,
the present case. This provision has undergone changes through the years not just in which provided that certain officials, including police officers may, within the territory
its phraseology but also in its interpretation in our jurisprudence. defined in the law, pursue and arrest without warrant, any person found in suspicious
places or under suspicious circumstances, reasonably tending to show that such
We shall first trace the evolution of Section 5(b) and examine the applicable American person has committed, or is about to commit any crime or breach of the peace.
and Philippine jurisprudence to fully understand its roots and its appropriate present
application. In Santos, the Court cited Miles v. Weston, which ruled that a peace officer may
46 47

arrest persons walking in the street at night when there is reasonable ground to
II. Evolution of Section 5(b), Rule 113 suspect the commission of a crime, although there is no proof of a felony having been
committed.
A. Prior to the 1940 Rules of Court
The Court ruled in Santos that the arresting officer must justify that there was a
probable cause for an arrest without a warrant. The Court defined probable cause as
a reasonable ground of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in transferred from one confinement to another. [Emphasis and underscoring
themselves as to warrant a reasonable man in believing that the accused is guilty. supplied]
Besides reasonable ground of suspicion, action in good faith is another requirement.
Once these conditions are complied with, the peace officer is not liable even if the These provisions were adopted in toto in Section 6, Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of
arrested person turned out to be innocent. Court. Notably, the 1940 and 1964 Rules have deviated from the old rulings of the
Court. Prior to the 1940 Rules, the actual commission of the offense was not
Based on these discussions, it appears clear that prior to the 1940 Rules of Court, it necessary in determining the validity of the warrantless arrest. Too, the arresting
was not necessary for the arresting officer to first have knowledge that a crime was officer's determination of probable cause (or reasonable suspicion) applied both as to
actually committed. What was necessary was the presence of reasonably sufficient whether a crime has been committed and whether the person to be arrested has
grounds to believe the existence of an act having the characteristics of a crime; and committed it.
that the same grounds exist to believe that the person sought to be detained
participated in it. In addition, it was also established under the old court rulings that However, under the 1940 and the 1964 Rules of Court, the Rules required that there
the phrase "reasonable suspicion" was tantamount to probable cause without which, should be actual commission of an offense, thus, removing the element of the
the warrantless arrest would be invalid and the arresting officer may be held liable for arresting officer's "reasonable suspicion of the commission of an offense."
its breach. 48
Additionally, the determination of probable cause, or reasonable suspicion, was
limited only to the determination of whether the person to be arrested has committed
In The US. v. Hachaw, the Court invalidated the warrantless arrest of a Chinaman
49
the offense. In other words, the 1940 and 1964 Rules of Court restricted the arresting
because the arresting person did not state in what way the Chinaman was acting officer's discretion in warrantless arrests under Section 6(b), Rule 113 of the 1964
suspiciously or the particular act or circumstance which aroused the arresting Rules of Court.
person's curiosity.
C. The more restrictive 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure
It appears, therefore, that prior to the establishment in our Rules of Court of the rules
on warrantless arrests, the gauge for a valid warrantless arrest was the arresting Section 6, Rule 113 of the 1964 Rules of Court again underwent substantial changes
officer's reasonable suspicion (probable cause) that a crime was committed and the and was re-worded and re-numbered when it became Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985
person sought to be arrested has participated in its commission. This principle left so Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit:
much discretion and leeway on the part of the arresting officer. However, the 1940
Rules of Court has limited this discretion.
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when. lawful. - A peace officer or a private person
may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
B. The 1940 Rules of Court
(Restricting the arresting
officer's determination of (a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is
probable cause) actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

Rules 27 and 28 of the Provisional Law for the Application of the Penal Code were (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal
substantially incorporated in Section 6, Rule 109 of the 1940 Rules of Court as knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it;
follows:
50
and

SEC. 6. Arrest without warrant - When lawful. - A peace officer or a private person (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a
may, without a warrant, arrest a person: penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or
temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being
transferred from one confinement to another. In cases falling under
(a) When the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, the person arrested without a warrant shall be
is about to commit an offense in his presence; forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail, and he shall be
proceeded against in accordance with Rule 112, Section 7. [Emphasis and
(b) When an offense has in fact been committed, and he has reasonable underscoring supplied]
ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it;
As amended, Section 5(b ), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Court retained the
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a restrictions introduced under the 1964 Rules of Court. More importantly, however, it
penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or added a qualification that the commission of the offense should not only have been
temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being "committed" but should have been "just committed." This limited the arresting officer's
time frame for conducting an investigation for purposes of gathering information i.a) U.S. jurisprudence on probable cause in warrantless arrests
indicating that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime.
In Payton v. New York, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment of
52

D. The Present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure the Federal Constitution does not prohibit arrests without a warrant although such
arrests must be reasonable. According to State v. Quinn, the warrantless arrest of a
53

Section 5(b ), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure was further amended person who was discovered in the act of violating the law is not a violation of due
with the incorporation of the word "probable cause" as the basis of the arresting process.
officer's determination on whether the person to be arrested has committed the crime.
The U.S. Supreme Court, however indicated in Henry v. United States that the
54

Hence, as presently worded, Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Fourth Amendment limited the circumstances under which warrantless arrests may be
Procedure provides that: made. The necessary inquiry is not whether there was a warrant or whether there was
time to get one, but whether at the time of the arrest probable cause existed. The
term probable cause is synonymous to "reasonable cause" and "reasonable
When an offense has just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe grounds." 55

based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested


has committed it.
In determining the existence of probable cause, the arresting officer should make a
thorough investigation and exercise reasonable judgment. The standards for
From the current phraseology of the rules on warrantless arrest, it appears that for evaluating the factual basis supporting a probable cause assessment are not less
purposes of Section S(b ), the following are the notable changes: first, the stringent in warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a warrant is sought from
contemplated offense was qualified by the word "just," connoting immediacy; and a judicial officer. The probable cause determination of a warrantless arrest is based
second, the warrantless arrest of a person sought to be arrested should be based on on information that the arresting officer possesses at the time of the arrest and not on
probable cause to be determined by the arresting officer based on his personal the information acquired later. 56

knowledge of facts and circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed
it.
In evaluating probable cause, probability and not certainty is the determinant of
reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment. Probable cause involves probabilities
It is clear that the present rules have "objectified" the previously subjective similar to the factual and practical questions of everyday life upon which reasonable
determination of the arresting officer as to the (1) commission of the crime; and (2) and prudent persons act. It is a pragmatic question to be determined in each case in
whether the person sought to be arrested committed the crime. According to Feria, light of the particular circumstances and the particular offense involved. 57

these changes were adopted to minimize arrests based on mere suspicion or


hearsay.51

In determining probable cause, the arresting officer may rely on all the information in
his possession, his fair inferences therefrom, including his observations. Mere
As presently worded, the elements under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules suspicion does not meet the requirements of showing probable cause to arrest
of Criminal Procedure are: first, an offense has just been committed; and second, the without warrant especially if it is a mere general suspicion. Probable cause may rest
arresting officer has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts on reasonably trustworthy information as well as personal knowledge. Thus, the
or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it. arresting officer may rely on information supplied by a witness or a victim of a crime;
and under the circumstances, the arresting officer need not verify such information. 58

For purposes of this case, we shall discuss these elements separately below, starting
with the element of probable cause, followed by the elements that the offense has just In our jurisdiction, the Court has likewise defined probable cause in the context of
been committed, and the arresting officer's personal knowledge of facts or Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed the crime.
In Abelita Ill v. Doria et al., the Court held that personal knowledge of facts must be
59

i) First Element of Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: based on probable cause, which means an actual belief or reasonable grounds of
Probable cause suspicion. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual
belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably
The existence of "probable cause" is now the "objectifier" or the determinant on how guilty of committing the offense is based on actual facts, i.e., supported by
the arresting officer shall proceed on the facts and circumstances, within his personal circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt
knowledge, for purposes of determining whether the person to be arrested has of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion, therefore, must be founded on
committed the crime. probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the
arrest.
i.b) Probable cause under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal However, while the arresting officer, the public prosecutor and the judge all determine
Procedure, distinguished from probable cause in preliminary investigations and the "probable cause," within the spheres of their respective functions, its existence is
judicial proceeding for the issuance of a warrant of arrest influenced heavily by the available facts and circumstance within their possession. In
short, although these officers use the same standard of a reasonable man, they
The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to determine whether a crime has been possess dissimilar quantity of facts or circumstances, as set by the rules, upon which
committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty of they must determine probable cause.
the crime and should be held for triat. In Buchanan v. Viuda de Esteban, we defined
60 61

probable cause as the existence of facts and circumstances as would excite the belief Thus, under the present rules and jurisprudence, the arresting officer should base his
in a reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the prosecutor, that determination of probable cause on his personal knowledge of facts and
the person charged was guilty of the crime for which he was prosecuted. circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime; the
public prosecutor and the judge must base their determination on the evidence
In this particular proceeding, the finding of the existence of probable cause as to the submitted by the parties.
guilt of the respondent was based on the submitted documents of the complainant,
the respondent and his witnesses. 62
In other words, the arresting officer operates on the basis of more limited facts,
evidence or available information that he must personally gather within a limited time
On the other hand, probable cause in judicial proceedings for the issuance of a frame.
warrant of arrest is defined as the existence of such facts and circumstances that
would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that an offense has Hence, in Santos, the Court acknowledged the inherent limitations of determining
66

been committed by the person sought to be arrested. probable cause in warrantless arrests due to the urgency of its determination in these
instances. The Court held that one should not expect too much of an ordinary
Hence, before issuing a warrant of arrest, the judge must be satisfied that based on policeman. He is not presumed to exercise the subtle reasoning of a judicial officer.
the evidence submitted, there is sufficient proof that a crime has been committed and Oftentimes, he has no opportunity to make proper investigation but must act in haste
that the person to be arrested is probably guilty thereof. At this stage of the criminal on his own belief to prevent the escape of the criminal.67

proceeding, the judge is not yet tasked to review in detail the evidence submitted
during the preliminary investigation. It is sufficient that he personally evaluates the ii) Second and Third Elements of Section 5(b), Rule 113:
evidence in determining probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest.
63
The crime has just been committed/personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person
In contrast, the arresting officer's determination of probable cause under Section 5(b), to be arrested has committed it
Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is based on his personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person sought to be arrested has We deem it necessary to combine the discussions of these two elements as our
committed the crime. These facts or circumstances pertain to actual facts or raw jurisprudence shows that these were usually taken together in the Court's
evidence, i.e., supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create determination of the validity of the warrantless arrests that were made pursuant to
the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith on the part of
the peace officers making.the arrest. In Posadas v. Ombudsman, the killing of Dennis Venturina happened on December
68

8, 1994. It was only on December 11, 1994 that Chancellor Posadas requested the
The probable cause to justify warrantless arrest ordinarily signifies a reasonable NBI's assistance. On the basis of the supposed identification of two (2) witnesses, the
ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to NBI attempted to arrest Francis Carlo Taparan and Raymundo Narag three (3) days
warrant a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense with after the commission of the crime. With this set of facts, it cannot be said that the
which he is charged, or an actual belief or reasonable ground of suspicion, based on
64
officers have personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the persons sought to
actual facts.
65
be arrested committed the crime. Hence, the Court invalidated the warrantless arrest.

It is clear therefore that the standard for determining "probable cause" is invariable for Similarly, in People v. Burgos, one Cesar Masamlok personally and voluntarily
69

the officer arresting without a warrant, the public prosecutor, and the judge issuing a surrendered to the authorities, stating that Ruben Burgos forcibly recruited him to
warrant of arrest. It is the existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead a become a member of the NPA, with a threat of physical harm. Upon receipt of this
reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that an offense has been information, a joint team of PC-INP units was dispatched to arrest Burgos who was
committed by the person sought to be arrested or held for trial, as the case may be. then plowing the field. Indeed, the arrest was invalid considering that the only
information that the police officers had in effecting the arrest was the information from
a third person. It cannot be also said in this case that there was certainty as regards acted on the basis of personal knowledge of the death of the victim and of facts
the commission of a crime. indicating that the accused was the assailant. Thus, the warrantless arrest was held
valid.
In People v. del Rosario, the Court held that the requirement that an offense has just
70

been committed means that there must be a large measure of immediacy between In People v. Acol, a group held up the passengers in a jeepney and the policemen
77

the time the offense was committed and the time of the arrest. If there was an immediately responded to the report of the crime. One of the victims saw four persons
appreciable lapse of time between the arrest and the commission of the crime, a walking towards Fort Bonifacio, one of whom was wearing his jacket. The victim
warrant of arrest must be secured. pointed them to the policemen. When the group saw the policemen coming, they ran
in different directions. The Court held that the arrest was valid.
The Court held that the arrest of del Rosario did not comply with these requirements
because he was arrested only a day after the commission of the crime and not In Cadua v. CA, there was an initial report to the police concerning a robbery. A radio
78

immediately thereafter. Additionally, the arresting officers were not present and were dispatch was then given to the arresting officers, who proceeded to Alden Street to
not actual eyewitnesses to the crime. Hence, they had no personal knowledge of facts verify the authenticity of the radio message. When they reached the place, they met
indicating that the person to be arrested had committed the offense. They became with the complainants who initiated the report about the robbery. Upon the officers'
aware of del Rosario's identity as the driver of the getaway tricycle only during the invitation, the victims joined them in conducting a search of the nearby area where the
custodial investigation. accused was spotted in the vicinity. Based on the reported statements of the
complainants, he was identified as a logical suspect in the offense just committed.
In People v. Cendana, the accused was arrested one (1) day after the killing of the
71
Hence, the arrest was held valid.
victim and only on the basis of information obtained from unnamed sources. The
unlawful arrest was held invalid. In Doria, the Court held that Section S(b ), Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
79

Procedure does not require the arresting officers to personally witness the
In Rolito Go v. CA, the arrest of the accused six ( 6) days after the commission of the
72
commission of the offense.
crime was held invalid because the crime had not just been committed. Moreover, the
"arresting" officers had no "personal knowledge" of facts indicating that the accused In this case, P/Supt. Doria alleged that his office received a telephone call from a
was the gunman who had shot the victim. The information upon which the police relative of Rosa Sia about a shooting incident. He dispatched a team headed by SP03
acted came from statements made by alleged eyewitnesses to the shooting; one Ramirez to investigate the incident. SP03 Ramirez later reported that a certain
stated that the accused was the gunman; another was able to take down the alleged William Sia was wounded while Judge Abelita III, who was implicated in the incident,
gunman's car's plate number which turned out to be registered in the name of the and his wife just left the place of the incident. P/Supt. Doria looked for Abelita III and
accused's wife. That information did not constitute "personal knowledge." when he found him, he informed him of the incident report. P/Supt. Doria requested
Abelita III to go with him to the police headquarters as he had been reported to be
In People v. Tonog, Jr., the warrantless arrest which was done on the same day was
73
involved in the incident. Abelita III agreed but suddenly sped up his vehicle and
held valid. In this case, the arresting officer had knowledge of facts which he proceeded to his residence where P/Supt. Doria caught him up as he was about to
personally gathered in the course of his investigation, indicating that the accused was run towards his house.
one of the perpetrators.
The police officers saw a gun in the front seat of the vehicle beside the driver's seat
In People v. Gerente, the policemen arrested Gerente only about three (3) hours
74
as Abelita III opened the door. They also saw a shotgun at the back of the driver's
after Gerente and his companions had killed the victim. The Court held that the seat. The police officers confiscated the firearms and arrested Abelita III. The Court
policemen had personal knowledge of the violent death of the victim and of facts held that the petitioner's act of trying to get away, coupled with the incident report
indicating that Gerente and two others had killed him. The warrantless arrest was held which they investigated, were enough to raise a reasonable suspicion on the part of
valid. the police authorities as to the existence of probable cause. Based on these
discussions, it appears that the Court's appreciation of the elements that "the offense
has just been committed" and ''personal knowledge of facts and circumstances that
In People v. Alvario, the warrantless arrest came immediately after the arresting
75
the person to be arrested committed it" depended on the particular circumstances of
officers received information from the victim of the crime. The Court held that the the case. However, we note that the element of ''personal knowledge of facts or
personal knowledge of the arresting officers was derived from the information circumstances" under Section S(b ), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
supplied by the victim herself who pointed to Alvario as the man who raped her at the Procedure requires clarification.
time of his arrest. The Court upheld the warrantless arrest. In People v.
Jayson, there was a shooting incident. The policemen who were summoned to the
76

scene of the crime found the victim. The informants pointed to the accused as the The phrase covers facts or, in the alternative, circumstances. According to the Black's
assailant only moments after the shooting. The Court held that the arresting officers Law Dictionary, "circumstances are attendant or accompanying facts, events or
80

conditions. " Circumstances may pertain to events or actions within the actual
perception, personal evaluation or observation of the police officer at the scene of the III. Application of Section S(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules
crime. Thus, even though the police officer has not seen someone actually fleeing, he of Criminal Procedure in the present case: there was a
could still make a warrantless arrest if, based on his personal evaluation of the valid warrantless arrest
circumstances at the scene of the crime, he could determine the existence of
probable cause that the person sought to be arrested has committed the crime. We deem it necessary to review the records of the CA because it has
However, the determination of probable cause and the gathering of facts or misapprehended the facts in its decision. From a review of the records, we conclude
81

circumstances should be made immediately after the commission of the crime in that the police officers had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances upon which
order to comply with the element of immediacy. they had properly determined probable cause in effecting a warrantless arrest against
the petitioners. We note, however, that the determination of the facts in the present
In other words, the clincher in the element of ''personal knowledge of facts or case is purely limited to the resolution of the issue on the validity of the warrantless
circumstances" is the required element of immediacy within which these facts or arrests of the petitioners.
circumstances should be gathered. This required time element acts as a safeguard to
ensure that the police officers have gathered the facts or perceived the circumstances Based on the police blotter entry taken at 4:15 a.m. on February 20, 2005, the date
82

within a very limited time frame. This guarantees that the police officers would have that the alleged crime was committed, the petitioners were brought in for investigation
no time to base their probable cause finding on facts or circumstances obtained after at the Batasan Hills Police Station. The police blotter stated that the alleged crime
an exhaustive investigation. was committed at 3:15 a.m. on February 20, 2005, along Kasiyahan St., Brgy. Holy
Spirit, Quezon City.
The reason for the element of the immediacy is this - as the time gap from the
commission of the crime to the arrest widens, the pieces of information gathered are The time of the entry of the complaint in the police blotter at 4:15 a.m., with Atty.
prone to become contaminated and subjected to external factors, interpretations and Generoso and the petitioners already inside the police station, would connote that the
hearsay. On the other hand, with the element of immediacy imposed under Section arrest took place less than one hour from the time of the occurrence of the crime.
5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the police officer's Hence, the CA finding that the arrest took place two (2) hours after the commission of
determination of probable cause would necessarily be limited to raw or the crime is unfounded.
uncontaminated facts or circumstances, gathered as they were within a very limited
period of time. The same provision adds another safeguard with the requirement of
probable cause as the standard for evaluating these facts of circumstances before the The arresting officers' personal observation of Atty. Generoso's bruises when they
police officer could effect a valid warrantless arrest. arrived at the scene of the crime is corroborated by the petitioners' admissions that
Atty: Generoso indeed suffered blows from petitioner Macapanas and his brother
Joseph Macapanas, although they asserted that they did it in self-defense against
83

In light of the discussion above on the developments of Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Atty. Generoso.
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and our jurisprudence on the matter, we hold
that the following must be present for a valid warrantless arrest: 1) the crime should
have been just committed; and 2) the arresting officer's exercise of discretion is Atty. Generoso's bruises were also corroborated by the Medico-Legal Certificate that 84

limited by the standard of probable cause to be determined from the facts and was issued by East Avenue Medical Center on the same date of the alleged mauling.
circumstances within his personal knowledge. The requirement of the existence of The medical check-up of Atty. Generoso that was made about 8:10 a.m. on the date
probable cause objectifies the reasonableness of the warrantless arrest for purposes of the incident, showed the following findings: "Contusion Hematoma, Left Frontal
of compliance with the Constitutional mandate against unreasonable arrests. Area; Abrasion, T6 area, right midclavicular line periorbital hematoma, left eye;
Abrasion, distal 3rd posterolateral aspect of right forearm; Abrasion, 4th and fifth digit,
right hand; Abrasion on area of ih rib (L ant. Chest wall), tenderness on L peripheral
Hence, for purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless arrest of area, no visible abrasion. In addition, the attending physician, Dr. Eva P. Javier,
the present petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the requirements for a diagnosed Atty. Generoso of contusion hematoma, periorbital L., and traumatic
valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal conjunctivitis, o.s.
Procedure were complied with, namely: 1) has the crime just been committed when
they were arrested? 2) did the arresting officer have personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the petitioners committed the crime? and 3) based on these facts To summarize, the arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the
and circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the time of the petitioners' complaint of Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police officers responded to
arrest, would a reasonably discreet and prudent person believe that the attempted the scene of the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged mauling; the alleged
murder of Atty. Generoso was committed by the petitioners? We rule in the crime transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners reside;
affirmative. Atty. Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible for his
mauling and, notably, the petitioners and Atty. Generoso lived almost in the same
85 86

neighborhood; more importantly, when the petitioners were confronted by the


arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in the incident with Atty.
Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired. 87
With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered and which they After the resolution of the validity of the warrantless arrest, the discussion of the
have personally observed less than one hour from the time that they have arrived at petitioners' second issue is largely academic. Arrest is defined as the taking of a
the scene of the crime until the time of the arrest of the petitioners, we deem it person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of
reasonable to conclude that the police officers had personal knowledge of facts or an offense. An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person to be arrested, or by
circumstances justifying the petitioners' warrantless arrests. These circumstances his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. Thus, application of
91

were well within the police officers' observation, perception and evaluation at the time actual force, manual touching of the body, physical restraint or a formal declaration of
of the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police officers' personal observation, arrest is not required. It is enough that there be an intention on the part of one of the
which are within their personal knowledge, prompting them to make the warrantless parties to arrest the other and the intent of the other to submit, under the belief and
arrests. impression that submission is necessary. 92

Similar to the factual antecedents in Jayson, the police officers in the present case
88
Notwithstanding the term "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest, SP02 Javier could not but
93

saw Atty. Generoso in his sorry bloodied state. As the victim, he positively identified have the intention of arresting the petitioners following Atty. Generoso' s account.
the petitioners as the persons who mauled him; however, instead of fleeing like what SP02 Javier did not need to apply violent physical restraint when a simple directive to
happened in Jayson, the petitioners agreed to go with the police officers. the petitioners to follow him to the police station would produce a similar effect. In
other words, the application of actual force would only be an alternative if the
This is also similar to what happened in People v. Tonog, Jr. where Tonog did not
89
petitioners had exhibited resistance.
flee but voluntarily went with the police officers. More than this, the petitioners in the
present case even admitted to have been involved in the incident with Atty. Generoso, To be sure, after a crime had just been committed and the attending policemen have
although they had another version of what transpired. acquired personal knowledge of the incidents of the crime, including the alleged
perpetrators, the arrest of the petitioners as the perpetrators pointed to by the victim,
In determining the reasonableness of the warrantless arrests, it is incumbent upon the was not a mere random act but was in connection with a particular offense.
courts to consider if the police officers have complied with the requirements set under Furthermore, SP02 Javier had informed the petitioners, at the time of their arrest, of
Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, specifically, the the charges against them before taking them to Batasan Hills Police Station for
requirement of immediacy; the police officer's personal knowledge of facts or investigation.94

circumstances; and lastly, the propriety of the determination of probable cause that
the person sought to be arrested committed the crime. V. The Order denying the motion for preliminary
investigation is valid
The records show that soon after the report of the incident occurred, SPOl Monsalve
immediately dispatched the arresting officer, SP02 Javier, to render personal In their last ditch attempt at avoidance, the petitioners attack the R TC Order denying
assistance to the victim. This fact alone negates the petitioners' argument that the
90
the petitioners' urgent motion for regular preliminary investigation for allegedly having
police officers did not have personal knowledge that a crime had been committed - been issued in violation of Article VIII, Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution and Rule
95

the police immediately responded and had personal knowledge that a crime had been 16, Section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court. 96

committed. 1âwphi1

The RTC, in its Order dismissing the motion, clearly states that the Court is not
To reiterate, personal knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the persuaded by the evidentiary nature of the allegations in the said motion of the
above-cited provision, does not require actual presence at the scene while a crime accused. Aside from lack of clear and convincing proof, the Court, in the exercise of
was being committed; it is enough that evidence of the recent commission of the its sound discretion on the matter, is legally bound to pursue and hereby gives
crime is patent (as in this case) and the police officer has probable cause to believe preference to the speedy disposition of the case."
based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be
arrested has recently committed the crime. We do not see any taint of impropriety or grave abuse of discretion in this Order. The
RTC, in resolving the motion, is not required to state all the facts found in the record
Considering the circumstances of the stabbing, particularly the locality where it took of the case. Detailed evidentiary matters, as the RTC decreed, is best reserved for
place, its occasion, the personal circumstances of the parties, and the immediate on- the full-blown trial of the case, not in the preliminary incidents leading up to the trial.
the-spot investigation that took place, the immediate and warrantless arrests of the
perpetrators were proper. Consequently, the inquest proceeding that the City Additionally, no less than the Constitution itself provides that it is the decision that
Prosecutor conducted was appropriate under the circumstances. should state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. In
resolving a motion, the court is only required to state clearly and distinctly the reasons
IV. The term "invited" in the Affidavit of Arrest is construed to therefor. A contrary system would only prolong the proceedings, which was precisely
mean as an authoritative command what happened to this case. Hence, we uphold the validity of the RTC's order as it
correctly stated the reason for its denial of the petitioners' Urgent Motion for Regular
Preliminary Investigation. WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby DENY the
petition, and hereby AFFIRM the decision dated January 21, 2008 and the resolution
dated April 17, 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 91541. The City
Prosecutor of Quezon City is hereby ORDERED to proceed with the criminal
proceedings against the petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA


Associate Justice Associate Justice

MARVIC M.V.F. LEONEN


Associate Justice

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson's
Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's
Division.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Acting Chief Justice